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Robert C. Cosgrove, Class of 1927

Robert C. Cosgrove, 100, of South Yarmouth died Thursday Sept. 23, 2010 at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis. He was the husband of Nancy (Carr) Cosgrove. They had been married since 1953.
Born on St. Patrick’s Day in South Manchester, Conn., Mr. Cosgrove soon moved to New York, N.Y. When he was a young boy, his late parents, an English mother and a Scottish father, had him study the violin. He also sang as a boy soprano at Saint James Episcopal Church on Madison Ave. This began his lifelong association with and love of music.

Mr. Cosgrove attended the prestigious Townsend Harris High School and the College of the City of New York. During summers he worked as a switchboard operator at the Meadowbrook Country Club in Westbury, Long Island, N.Y., and as a “runner” on Wall Street. He later was employed by Seldner & Enequist as a salesman selling chemicals to the graphic arts industry. Also during this period, Mr. Cosgrove served as an usher at Carnegie Hall.

In the spring of 1942, Mr. Cosgrove enlisted in the U.S. Army. Following Officer’s Candidate School, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and served with the Chemical Warfare Corps in Huntsville, Ala., during World War II. After the war, he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was employed in the advertising and public relations departments of the Baldwin Piano and Organ Company. Due to the outbreak of the Korean Conflict, he was called back to active duty, promoted to Captain in counter intelligence, and served in Japan and Korea for over two years.

Mr. Cosgrove was honorably discharged from the Army in 1952 and rejoined Baldwin Piano and Organ at their retail sales office in Chicago, Ill. It was there that he met the nationally known soprano, Nancy Carr. After their marriage, Mr. Cosgrove was transferred to the Boston area and worked out of the Boylston Street office becoming the head of New England sales for Baldwin.

In 1962, Mr. Cosgrove was transferred back to Cincinnati, where he became the National Director of Sales Promotion and Artistic Relations. It was in this assignment that he and his wife, Nancy developed lifelong friendships with many of the famous and distinguished names in the music industry. This included Arthur Fiedler of the Boston Pops, Liberace, Ferante and Teicher, Jose Iturbi, and many others.

Mr. Cosgrove was a resident of Wellesley for several years while he worked in Boston. He became a member of the L Street Brownies, developed a passion for sailing while on the Charles River Basin; and began a lifelong love affair with a succession of small dogs, who became beloved companions.

He retired in 1975 and moved to South Orleans and taught writing skills at Cape Cod Community College. He was an active member of the Chatham Flotilla of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and conducted many on water safety patrols, tours of Chatham Light, and he taught the safe boating course to well over one hundred men, women and children. Upon his retirement from the auxiliary, Mr. Cosgrove was presented the “Pillar of Strength” award for his outstanding service.

Mr. Cosgrove was, for many years, a familiar figure sailing out of Arey’s Pond and on the waters of Pleasant Bay in what was a veritable parade of catboats, sloops, and even several skiffs equipped with outboard motors.

In 2003, he and his wife moved to South Yarmouth and became residents of Thirwood Place.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Cosgrove is survived by a son, John, his wife, Kathleen, and their adopted daughter, Kristina, all of South Weymouth.